Two Trojans head to Indian Wells Tournament|
March 4, 2011
USC's own junior Steve Johnson and senior Maria Sanchez will battle alongside the likes of pros Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer in the BNP Paribas Open to be held March 7-20 at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. Johnson is ranked No. 1 in the nation for men's collegiate tennis and Sanchez is not far behind at the No. 2 spot for women. Both received wildcards to enter the tournament qualifying rounds.
Only a small selection of men and women are given the qualifying draw cards to play in this coveted tournament, and Trojan rising stars Johnson and Sanchez' dominant play earned them the chance to compete as amateurs amongst the world's best in the business.
Qualifying draw wildcards were given to three men's players -- Ryan Sweeting, Steve Johnson, and Greg Ouellette, a former Southeastern Conference Player of the Year and last season he captured three titles on the ITF circuit. There are two remaining men's qualifying draw wildcards, with one going to the winner of the BNP Paribas Open Pre-Qualifier, which will be held from March 2-6. Former top 30 German star Sabine Lisicki, three young Americans, Madison Keys, Madison Brengle and Maria Sanchez, and rising Puerto Rican junior Monica Puig, were granted wildcards into the women's qualifying draw. There is one more women's qualifying draw wildcard, which will be given to the winner of the BNP Paribas Open Pre-Qualifier. Between the men and women, the Pre-Qualifier had more than 140 entries.
The BNP Paribas Open is the first of the nine ATP World Tour 1000 Masters events, showcasing the top talent of the men's and women's tennis circuit in a 12 day tournament in the Coachella Valley.
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